2011 – Oh, What a Year!

Posted by nancymueller
Posted on December 26, 2011
12 Comments
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Guard at Palacio de Gobierno Yours truly with guard outside Palacio de Gobierno in Quito, Ecuador

As 2011 comes to an end, I’ll be posting a series of blogs this week, highlighting my travel adventures over the past year.

First up: a look at a few new friends I made along the way . . .

When you’re traveling solo in a foreign country, it makes a world of difference to have helpful guides who can tell you about the history of the region, drive you safely from one area to another (in this case, up and over narrow passes in the Andes), fill you in on the local cuisine, or keep you company, even if you don’t speak each other’s language. It was my great fortune to have had the assistance of my tour guide and interpreter, Giovanna, and my driver, Manolo, on my trip to Ecuador.

Having not one, but two, naturalists aboard the MV Evolution for my small-ship cruise of the Galapagos Islands, was an unexpected luxury.

On alternate evenings Jorge and Alex presented an overview of the next day’s activities, throwing in salient facts and fun anecdotes about the local landscape and wildlife. Their enthusiasm was infectious on our daily expeditions  to the islands – and they scored extra points for helping with my photography and snorkeling.

Muchas gracias por todo, mis amigos!

What new friends did you meet in your travels this year, Wanderboomers?

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12 responses to “2011 – Oh, What a Year!”

  1. Jodi Aman says:

    I made friends from all over the world on my Facebook page! It has been a trip!
    Love,
    Jodi

    • Nancy Mueller - WanderBoomer says:

      It’s a sign of the times, Jodi! I know just what you mean. Technology has given us the tools to connect with the new friends everywhere ~ Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Living in Antibes, France for 4-1/2 months last summer, making local friends was one of the best things: the hairdresser and her customers taught me more about french culture and language than I could ever have wished for; the fromagier at the daily market immersed me in an education on cheese; my 84-year-old British neighbour convinced me age does not matter. Magnifique!

    • Nancy Mueller - WanderBoomer says:

      4-1/2 months in Antibes!? Sounds absolutely idyllic, Patricia! I love the cross-section of new local friends you made while living there. Thanks for sharing ~

  3. Astra says:

    Having good travel guides can make or break your trip, I am convinced! Will be delighted to read your tributes to them!!
    On our biking trip through California wine country, we had wonderful travel guides (hats off to Backroads) and met a great number of couples, some of whom I keep in touch with via Facebook! Happy New Year to you, Nancy, and happy trails for 2012!!

    • Nancy Mueller - WanderBoomer says:

      I’m glad that you also had such positive experiences with your travel guides, Astra. Happy New Year to you, too! Here’s to more fun adventures in 2012 ~

  4. good tour guide like what we had in spain this month will truly help you know more about the country..i am very sure you had a wonderful time..happy new year in advance!

    • Nancy Mueller - WanderBoomer says:

      Glad to hear you had such a great experience in Spain, Ruby! Wishing you more fun travels in 2012 ~

  5. Jean Henry Mead says:

    My travels were confinced to the U.S. this year: a trip to the Texzas gulf coast to visit my brother and two trips to California to visit friends. We met a lot of great people along the way as well as at our destinations.

    • Nancy Mueller - WanderBoomer says:

      As you say, Jean, whether traveling abroad, or closer to home, we can meet memorable people wherever we go. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Christopher says:

    We also had friendly, informative drivers in Ecuador and Peru. Happy New Year, Nancy!

    • Nancy Mueller - WanderBoomer says:

      I’m not surprised, Christopher, but glad to hear it. I would go back to Ecuador in a heartbeat! Happy New Year to you, too, Christopher – and Happy Travels wherever the New Year takes you ~

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